Introduction: Homemade BBQ Sauce With Option to Can It

My husband and oldest daughter are HUGE ketchup lovers, I am not. When I make them their coveted homemade ketchup, I always reserve 2 cups to make BBQ Sauce, Shhhh...don't tell them! But, you can use store bought ketchup as well. This recipe is tangy and sweet just how I like it. If you like it with" POW, right in the kisser" , than I suggest adding Cayenne pepper to taste. This recipe can be doubled (YAY!) for canning purposes and is a great 1st time project if you've ever wanted to try your hand at canning.  If not, just place it right in the fridge and it will last several months. Please check out the link below if you are new to canning.
National Center for Home Preservation

There's only 1 thing you need to strictly follow when using this recipe. Never change the ratio of vinegar to ingrediants. You can alter/lower the PH level allowing botulism to grow. For example, if you want to double this recipe for canning purposes- Use 1 full cup of Apple Cider Vinegar.

Step 1: Items Needed

Remember, if you are planning on canning this recipe, double it!

Items You Will Need:

- 1 Wide mouth Pint jar w/ lid & ring ( if canning, you will need atleast 6 half pint jars w/lids and rings)
-  Medium sauce pan( if doubling recipe for canning, using large pot)
- 1 Tbsp. Molasses(original)
- 2 Tbsp. Dark Brown Sugar
- 1 Tbsp. Honey
- 1 Tbsp. Spicy brown mustard(you may substitute with yellow mustard)
- 2 cups homemade ketchup( can substitute with store bought Ketchup)
- 1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. Spicy dry rub*
- Ball Canning Kit ( inexpensive & great to have if you plan on canning)

I always save any left over Spicy rub my husband makes for BBQ ribs. Feel free to buy a small container of self made rub as the recipe I'm going to give you for making the Spicy rub makes quite alot. Or store it in an air tight container and use the next time you BBQ on the grill. The rub works well with chicken and pork chops & of course ribs.

Spicy Rub Mix
- 1/4 Cup Kosher salt
- 2 Tbsp. Ground black pepper
- 1/4 Cup Dark brown sugar, packed
- 3 Tbsp. Ground cumin
- 2 Tbsp. chili powder
- 1 Tbsp. Granulated garlic
- 2 Tbsp. Paprika

Step 2: Preparing the Canner, Jars & Sanitizing (skip This Step If Not Canning)

1. In empty dishwasher Place the following:(DO NOT put your dirty dishes in with these)

- All jars, lids and rings
- 2 to 3 Spatulas
- small pot for lids (to keep them on simmer) 

2. Run your dishwasher with your regular detergent, make sure to have your heat settings on or use your sanitize setting.

3. Clean your entire work surface/counters with a solution of bleach/water or using Clorox wipes, etc...

4.  Wash Canner & canning intruments  
(using brand new sponge or paper towels)

- In clean sink using hot soapy water wash the water bath canner, jar lifter, lid lifter, headspace/bubble remover tool and funnel
- Rinse all in hot water and allow to dry on clean paper towels

5. Fill your water bath canner, put on lid & turn on stove to HIGH heat
- Make sure you have enough water in the canner to cover jars by atleast 2 inches
I always like to add more water than I think I need. You can always remove some when its boiling, but it's hard to add water when it's ready to go.(You'd have to wait for it to boil again)

 Things to have on hand:
- hand sanitizer
- roll of paper towels

Step 3: Preparing to Make Ketchup Into BBQ Sauce

Step 1:

- Put ketchup in medium saucepan(or pot if doubling the recipe)
- Add vinegar, and all seasonings.
- Stir to combined
- Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring ocassionally.
- Add Molasses
- Reduce heat & simmer until mixture looks like thick pasta sauce. Aprox. 30-45 minutes

Step 4: Refrigerated Method...

Step 2:

- Wash hands
-Wash Pint jar, lid and ring in clean sink with hot soapy water, rinse in hot water
- Place to dry off on clean paper towel
- Wash funnel in hot soapy water, dry off with clean paper towel
- Place clean funnel inside sterilized pint jar
- Pour BBQ Sauce inside jar
- Wash hands
- With clean damp paper towel, wipe rim of jar
-Place on lid & ring
- Store in fridge(keep refrigerated, will last several months)
ENJOY, you are done!

Step 5: Canning Method...

As I didn't make a double batch this time, I'm going to be using pictures from canning the ketchup. This will provide you with all the information needed to can your BBQ sauce. Picture backgrounds vary because I took the pictures over making 2 batches. As always, if you have any questions, please ask.

Step 2:

-Wash hands
- Remove sanitized lids from dishwasher & place in small pot with simmering water
-Place sanitized jars on clean paper towel or clean dish towel
- Place clean funnel in 1st jar and fill 1/2-1/4 inch from the rim, repeat until all jars are filled
- Using clean bubble remover tool, place in jar starting at the edge and drag to the center. Repeat around jar and all other jars
- Wash hands
- With clean paper towel, clean the rims of the jars (be careful not to touch the rims with your fingertips, if you do- use another clean paper towel diped in boiling water bath water & wipe rim again)
-Using clean lid remove, grab one lid at a time from simmering water & place on jar. Repeat until all jars have lids on them
- Without disturbing the lids, apply the rings to each jar, "fingertip tight"

Step 6: Processing the Jars

Step 3:

-- Using your Clean Jar lifter, slowly add jars one at a time to the canner until they are all in there.Leave space in between all of them.
- Place lid back on water canner and process your jars for 15 minutes**
(Remember your heat needs to remain on Medium/High during this entire processing time)
- After time is up for processing, turn off heat and allow jars to sit for 5 minutes before removing them
- Remove jars and allow to cool undisturbed for atleast 12 hrs. or overnight

** Depending on your elevation(above sea level), more time might be needed. Please refer to the chart below to see if you need to add time

Step 7: Checking the Seals & Storage( Applies Only for Canning)

Step 4:

As tempting as it is, DO NOT touch your jars. Leave them undisturbed atleast overnight.

- after 12 hrs or overnight, remove rings and check your lids to make sure they are sealed properly.
I usually lift the jar by the lid a few inches from the counter top. If the jars are properly sealed they will all hold.
- Use a damp paper towel or clean hand towel and clean the sides and tops of the jars( this will remove that powdery white stuff that is left when your water has lots of minerals in it)

- If your lid falls off or starts to come loose at any time, they ARE NOT properly sealed. These should be refrigerated and used up first.- Properly sealed jars should be labeled  stored in a cool sun light free area. Such as a cupboard in an air-conditioned area. Jars do not need to have the rings placed back on for storing.